XP SP3 and Vista SP1 very unstable

Discussion in 'Windows, Linux & Others on the Mac' started by djc6, Jan 30, 2009.

  1. djc6 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2007
    Location:
    Cleveland, OH
    #1
    I have a 24" Mid-2007 iMac, with 4GB of ram. I'm trying to setup Boot Camp with either XP or Vista so I can run some CAD software (Solidworks) for a class I'm taking.

    I installed XP SP3 using media that had SP3 pre-applied, and installed the Boot Camp drivers that came with my computer, then downloaded the Boot Camp 2.1 update. However, applications frequently crash - windows update fails randomly, the solidworks installer crashed, internet explorer crashes, etc.

    I then decided to try out Vista - formatted the partition, started from scratch, same deal. Ran the Boot Camp driver DVD, applied the Vista Boot Camp 2.1 update, then the crashed begin. Windows Update failed about halfway through the updates, internet explorer crashes, didn't even bother installed Solidworks.

    What is going on? I have absolutely no problems in OS X, and I've never encountered anything like this in XP or Vista before on other computers. Jokes aside, a fresh install typically works for a while. It makes me think its a hardware issue - but what hardware failure would only manifest itself in windows?
     
  2. Winni macrumors 68030

    Winni

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2008
    Location:
    Germany.
    #2
    That --could-- be a RAM problem. In my experience, Windows is much pickier about RAM modules than Unix systems like OS X or the Unix-like Linux. I've seen systems where Linux would install and run but Windows would constantly crash. After exchanging the RAM modules, the problem disappeared.

    However, as far as I know, BootCamp does not officially support the installation of XP SP3 directly - you have to install XP SP2 first and -then- apply Service Pack 3.

    I don't have any stability issues with Vista SP1 on my Mac Pro; both the 32-bit and the 64-bit editions run very well. Although thanks to Apple's lousy support for it on my 2007 Mac Pro, installing BootCamp 2.1 for the 64-bit edition of Vista was a royal pain in the neck. But well, I finally managed to get it running and whether Apple supports 64-Bit BootCamp on my Mac or not: It works.

    The only weird thing is that my Mac always forgets that I defined the OS X disk as my startup volume -- whenever I turn on the power, my Mac wants to boot Vista. It also doesn't matter whether I used Vista's Control Panel to define the Startup Disk or the system preferences in OS X. But that's the only issue that I have.
     
  3. Stridder44 macrumors 68040

    Stridder44

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2003
    Location:
    California
    #3

    I'd run a RAM test. My buddy's comp. had a similar problem when he built his machine (tried using Vista 64/32 and XP). In Vista he'd randomly get errors saying Superfetch has stopped working, Windows Update would never finish, get errors and only partially install stuff, or crash. He ran a memory test and turns out it was a bad RAM stick. He replaced it and everything worked perfectly.

    So yeah, whatever it is it's definitely a hardware issue.
     
  4. djc6 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2007
    Location:
    Cleveland, OH
    #4
    Well Friday night I let the Apple Hardware Diagnostic on the leopard DVD run in a continuous loop for about 12 hours, no errors.

    Saturday during the day/evening I let memtest86+ run for about 10 hours, not a single error.

    I ran Vista's Memory Diagnostic Test application, no errors.

    Last night, I re-installed Vista with a DVD that had SP1 pre-applied, and I've had no issues so far. I've only used it about 5-6 hours though doing some homework in Solidworks, so we'll see how it goes.

    Still can't shake that feeling there is something wrong with my memory :)
     
  5. cathyy macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2008
    #5
    You must update your BootCamp to 2.1 before installing SP3 for XP.
     
  6. Stridder44 macrumors 68040

    Stridder44

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2003
    Location:
    California
    #6
    If memtest86 says there's nothing wrong then there probably isn't anything wrong. :) It's a very good app. But it sounds like everythings working fine anyway. Sometimes a reinstall is all that's needed. Just report back if anything begins to act up again.
     
  7. djc6 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2007
    Location:
    Cleveland, OH
    #7
    I don't know how I'm supposed to do that. All of the retail copies I found, including the one I bought, has SP3 pre-applied. If I use someone else's copy seems I would run into activation issues.

    Besides, BootCamp 2.1 fixes this problem that occurs during the SP3 upgrade, doesn't seem to affect fresh installs with SP3 media:

    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/950716
     
  8. Markov macrumors 6502

    Markov

    Joined:
    May 18, 2007
    Location:
    Philadelphia
    #8
    It's the ram, or possibly a bad sector in the hard drive.

    It has NOTHING to do with SP3. I have installed XP with SP3 slipstreamed in it before updating to bootcamp 2.1 drivers, and I never have any issues. My current installation is such in fact, and it works well. I also use Auto Cad and Windows update with no crashing errors.
     

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